Room Layout Problems - Speakers or Soundbar? - AVS Forum
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Should I purchase bookshelves or a soundbar? I know the traditional advice would be bookshelves, but I am hampered by extremely sub-optimal room design and thus sub-optimal options for speaker placement.

My room setup can be described as follows: the room is a rectangle, 15 ft. by 14 ft.. The northern and southern walls (i.e., the horizontal lines) are 15 ft., while the eastern and western walls are 14 ft. However, remove the eastern wall – there is no wall there because the room opens into a kitchen area for another 10 feet or so. My couch is in the middle of the room (ignoring the kitchen space) on the southern wall and the TV is directly across from the center of the couch along the northern wall. Because the northern wall is pockmarked with closet doors, however, the speakers can be place no more than 1.5 feet from either edge of the TV (or about 3.5 feet from the center of the TV).

My intended uses, in order of priority, are (1) TV, (2) music, (3) movies. I need a complete system (I’m starting from scratch) in the sub-$1,000 range, preferably around $500 or less but I"m flexible.

Given that, should I purchase a set of speakers or a soundbar? It seems to me that the room layout is bad for both speakers and a soundbar, but at least the soundbar is designed around the constraint of having the speakers very nearly next to each other.

At this point, I’m considering the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR (the new Andrew Jones-designed speakers) for the bookshelves and the Yamaha YSP-2200 for the soundbar. I'm open to alternatives.

Assuming your recommend speakers over a soundbar, should I actually get bookshelves I mentioned or should I get the floorstanding versions? Also, do i need a center for my intended uses? A sub?

I'm very new at this, so I appreciate any suggestions.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:53 AM
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Nobody really has a perfect room. I would go with bookshelfs or floorstanders over a soundbar, unless you can't set the speakers in the best locations, like the mains L/R on each side equal distance from the tv. The speakers need to be positioned right. Don't have the left speaker a few inches from the tv and the right speakers 8ft on the other side of the room. It need to be balanced, Tv centered on the wall as much as possible and then have you left speaker about 2-3 feet from the tv and the right speaker 2-3 ft from the tv. Add in the center channel above or below your tv and you'll have a great soundstage.

Your going to need a receiver if you plan on going bookshelfs or floorstanders. I would never do without a subwoofer but you don't absolutely have to have one.

A picture of your current tv setup would help decide what would be the best and where to set up your speakers.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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"you left speaker about 2-3 feet from the tv and the right speaker 2-3 ft from the tv."

That's exactly what I can't do. I can place the left and right speakers no more than 1.5 feet from the edge of the TV, at most. That's the problem.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:22 AM
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Then place the speakers at 1.5 ft. I'd do that before a sound bar. By the way my speakers are leass than a foot from each side of the tv. My room is similar to yours except I have a hallway to the right of the tv leading North so obviously i can't have a speaker in the hallway. eek.gif

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:25 AM
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Yeah it doesn't have to be exact, I was just trying to make the point that you don't want them at different distances from the tv. 1.5ft would be fine, even a little closer at 1ft would be ok.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! And that is better for my intended uses than a really good soundbar like the YSP-2200?

Also, how important is the center for my intended uses?
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:00 PM
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Really good and soundbar usually don't go together. Unless you just have to have some very simple.

Try out the Pioneer towers you reference as your main speakers. They will put out enough bass that you probably won't need a subwoofer for TV usage. Plus you don't have the added cost of a pair of stands either. Later if you feel the need to add the matching center you can or just keep the l/r speakers only. Digital cable and Direct TV have Dolby 5.1 audio so to really get the best a center might be useful later.
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